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Shapes & Cuts

Gem cutting is a magical art in itself. There are so many excellent Lapidary artists around the world to stun us all with such excellent talents they could show the world on a piece of gem.

Understanding Gem cutting is equally important as its is to of knowing about gemstones. When a rough stone is desired to be cut to get fit into a piece of Jewelry, it goes through a lot of processes. A rough looses almost 50% of its mass to get to the shape it desire. 

As far as i have understood Gem cutting is basically divided in to two main variants 

1. Facets                            2. Cabochons 

Both of these then gets divided according to their shapes and sizes. Faceted has large number of possibility for different styles. 

Cabochon refers to a stone that has been shaped and polished to create a smooth, convex top with a flat bottom. Typically, softer stones are cut into Cabochon form, including Opal, Onyx, Turquoise and Lapis. Natural Stone, Bone, Wood and Shell also make excellent Cabochons.

Facets are flat faces on geometric shapes. The organization of naturally occurring facets was key to early developments in crystallography, since they reflect the underlying symmetry of the crystal structure. Gemstones commonly have facets cut into them in order to improve their appearance by allowing them to reflect light.

Many crystals naturally grow in faceted shapes. For instance, common table salt forms cubes and quartz forms hexagonal prisms. These characteristic shapes are a consequence of the crystal structure of the material and the surface energy, as well as the general conditions under which the crystal formed.

Below are some of the most commonly used Gem cuttings for jewelry making. 


Image source: Google Images